Case: Marone v. Nassau County

12-03630 | New York state trial court

Filed Date: March 21, 2012

Closed Date: 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 21, 2012, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and two prisoners at the Nassau County Correctional Center (NCCC) filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court for Nassau County, New York, against Nassau County and its County Executive, pursuant to CLPR Article 78 and Article XX § 2004 of the Nassau County Charter. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from NYCLU, sought an order of mandamus from the Court to compel the defendants to appoint seven members to the NCCC Board of Visitors…

On March 21, 2012, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and two prisoners at the Nassau County Correctional Center (NCCC) filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court for Nassau County, New York, against Nassau County and its County Executive, pursuant to CLPR Article 78 and Article XX § 2004 of the Nassau County Charter. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from NYCLU, sought an order of mandamus from the Court to compel the defendants to appoint seven members to the NCCC Board of Visitors pursuant to Article XX § 2004 of the Nassau County Charter.

Between January 2010 and March 2012, seven people died while in custody at the jail since January 2010, including five suicides. NYCLU received a large number of complaints from the prisoners about the failure to provide necessary medication, the mistreatment of persons with disabilities and the utter lack of mental health services at the jail. The plaintiffs argued that all of the above point to the facility's inadequate grievance system.

The county charter authorizes the seven-member committee to respond to inmate grievances and advise the sheriff on programs that would improve the care and treatment of people housed at the jail. According to the county charter, the Board of Visitors is to be composed of seven county residents who will serve three-year terms and have some "working knowledge of the correctional system."

The arguments revolved around two issues. Firstly, the defendants argued that it had discretion on whether to appoint the seven-member Board. Secondly, the defendants argued that the County Executive's recent submission of four names to the nominations committee of the Nassau County Legislature renders this complaint moot.

On April 3, 2013, the Court (Acting Justice James McCormack) exercised its power of mandamus and ordered the County Executive to appoint a Board of Visitors consistent with the County Charter, and to submit a list of names to constitute the seven-member Board within 90 days. Marone v. Nassau County, 39 Misc. 3d 1034, 1047(N.Y. 2013). The Court rejected both of the defendants' arguments. The language of the County Charter left no discretion to the County Executive on the appointment of the Board, and such appointment was clearly mandated by the language of the Charter. Ibid., 1045 (N.Y. 2013). The second argument was also rejected, because the language of the Charter made it clear that the Board must have seven members, which means it was not the intention to create a seven-member quorum to allow a four-member board to vote. Ibid., 1047(N.Y. 2013). Moreover, there was no evidence that the four members were in fact approved, so the submission of four names was of no importance. Ibid.

Summary Authors

Zhandos Kuderin (4/23/2014)

People


Judge(s)

McCormack, James P (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dunn, Christopher (New York)

Stoughton, Corey (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Ciampoli, John M. (New York)

Judge(s)

McCormack, James P (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dunn, Christopher (New York)

Stoughton, Corey (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Ciampoli, John M. (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

12-03630

Docket

New York state supreme court

April 4, 2012

April 4, 2012

Docket

12-03630

Verified Petition

New York state supreme court

March 21, 2012

March 21, 2012

Complaint

12-03630

Decision and Order of the Court

New York state supreme court

39 Misc.3d 1034

March 24, 2013

March 24, 2013

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 1, 2022, 3 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 21, 2012

Closing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Two prisoners at the Nassau County Correctional Center and a non-profit organization aiming to defend and promote human

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Nassau County (Nassau), County

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Failure to supervise

Suicide prevention

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run